On June 30, Rick Springfield will be featured in the debut of ABC’s “Greatest Hits,” a six-episode summer series hosted by Arsenio Hall. Of course RS will perform “Jessie’s Girl.”
The show is scheduled for 9-10 p.m. EST on ABC and will also feature “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins, “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes, “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. and “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang” – all part of my 1980s soundtrack (which I’m sure is true for many people).
Those who were a big fan of 1980s RS and are going to one of his concerts this year after a decades-long hiatus will likely recognize most of the songs because there are so many hits from those days. But he’s also been including some of the songs from “Rocket Science” at his live shows. So far “Light This Party Up,” “Down,” “That One” and “Miss Mayhem” have been part of current set lists.
Which of these songs will someday appear on a “Greatest Hits” album? It’s too soon to tell of course – and RS has said in an interview that he had no idea “Jessie’s Girl” would be the hit off “Working Class Dog” and look what it has become today. (Does this conversation sound familiar?: “I’m going to see Rick Springfield in concert.” “Who?” “Rick Springfield. Have you heard of him?” “No.” “Jessie’s Girl?” “Oh yes! I love him.“)
So now that “Rocket Science” has been out a few months – it came out Feb. 19 – let’s see where the songs are today.
“Light This Party Up”: Fans first heard this song at the RS fan event at the Club Med event in April 2015. I unfortunately was not one of the fortunate ones to be there, but someone posted videos to share the experience. I first heard it live in October 2015. In December 2015, USA Today presented the official world premiere. About a month after “Rocket Science” was released, a snippet of the song was played in an ABC Wednesday night promo for “The Middle.” Then there’s this video, which is part animation, part concert footage.
“Down”: I first heard this song live in October 2015, at the same show as “Light This Party Up.” But by then, I had heard it countless times on videos other people posted from past shows. An official audio video was released in December 2015 and the official video – shot at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego – was released this week after an ABC interview in his home studio. The song also is currently the theme song for the “Sundays with Carolyn & Dan” show on QVC.
“That One”: The debut for this song was on the Yahoo Live Stream of a concert in Nashville, about a week before the CD’s release.
“Miss Mayhem”: Another one that was released in early February – before the CD. (B.C.D.?) This sneak peek debuted on guitarplayer.com.
“Pay It Forward”: The concept of this song was used for a benefit concert for the American Cancer Society in Palm Springs, California. If people weren’t able to attend the concert, but still wanted to contribute, they could purchase tickets for cancer survivors. Such a cool idea.
Let Me In: This song was originally released as a bonus song on “Songs for the End of the World,” but the “Rocket Science” version has more of a country sound. It also has a more upbeat vibe to it, which fits with the idea that the new album has a more positive message than its predecessor. This new version’s premiere was released in January 2016 on billboard.com, along with an acoustic version.
Time will tell what the destiny of these songs will be, but for now they are considered his new songs – although for many of his fans, they are already as familiar as ones on past albums.